RANDOLPH, NJ–After being over at the Roselle Catholic Holiday Tournament, GMC Hoops made the long trek over to Morris County and the Randolph Roundball Festival, where Old Bridge was competing in the event. Seniors Tyler Abad and Jimmy Gaffigan got 12 points apiece while Femi Adeleye added 9 points and sophomore Julian Daley chipped in with 8.
This game wasn’t an easy game for the Knights, which entered the contest at 2-0. Old Bridge jumped out to a 12-7 lead, but Randolph closed the gap to three late in the first half on an 8-6 showing. The Rams had a chance to get closer after forcing a turnover at the 10.2 second mark of the second period, but made too many passes including an ill-advised behind the back pass that ended up being a turnover with a second to go before the intermission.
The third quarter began with Randolph getting the first points of the second half by scoring on its first possession before Adeleye sank a three pointer to put the Knights up by four at 21-17 with 6:43 to go in the period. Old Bridge then increased the lead to six at 25-19 with 5:22 to go in the period on two running bank shots by Abad. However, missed layups, which plagued the Knights throughout, helped Randolph stay in the hunt, and get back in the game. The Rams scored four straight points to pull within two again at 25-23 before forcing a five second call at the 4:17 mark.
Following a full timeout by the Knights, and a Randolph turnover, Abad found Adeleye for another three pointer from the right wing at the 3:16 mark, and then the senior forward fed freshman forward Sultan Aminu (6 points) for a layup and a 5-2 run that put the visitors up by five with 2:38 to play in the period. The home team fought back though with an 8-1 spurt to end the third as Old Bridge was one of four at the line, and committed a violation at the 20.1 second mark while Randolph got a turnaround jumper to tie the game with 23 seconds left, and then went ahead 33-31 on a score inside with 10 seconds to go in the period.
The Rams went up by four on a steal for a layup off an Isaiah Velez (3 points) pass at the 7:43 mark, but the Knights regained their composure, and finished the game with a 22-10 surge for the victory. Abad sparked the rally by grabbing a rebound of a missed Randolph shot, driving upcourt, and scoring the layup while being fouled for a three point play at the 6:20 mark. After Gaffigan and Daley went one of two at the line to close the gap to one with 4:53 to play, Old Bridge went ahead for good as Gaffigan grabbed a rebound, and tossed the ball upcourt to a streaking Daley, who scored the layup while being fouled (missed the bonus free throw) for a 38-37 lead.
Adeleye then capped the 10-2 spurt with a three pointer from the right wing at the 4:02 mark to put the Knights up by four. Randolph got to within three on a couple of occasions late, but Velez scored a layup at the 2:20 mark, and then Abad converted a traditional three point play at the 2:02 mark for a 48-40 lead. Things got a little crazy, and controversial in the waning minutes as the Rams got a layup to pull within six as the officials missed a traveling call, and then were able to call time out after getting a loose ball with 1:12 to play. However, they were unable to get any closer as the Knights won 53-45 to improve their best start in the GMC Hoops era at 3-0 on the season.
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